Friday, July 18, 2008

A final goodbye. . . . .

As you all know we are on vacation this week in the beautiful smokey mountains. So far our trip has been filled with laughs and good times. There however has been one activity that has been gnawing at me very quietly all week. My father passed away 2 1/2 years ago. It is always hard to lose a member of your family but when they are not only your father but also one of your best friends the loss is tremendous and it is one that I feel more and more every day. I still have not truly finished mourning the man that was such a large presence in my life and in a way I'm grateful for that. Yesterday we took a drive to a place called Cades Cove. It is a part of the smokey mountains that whenever I'm there I feel like I have traveled back in time. Seeing the original homesteads and churches make you feel like if you stood quietly off to the side that somehow you would hear the voices of the men, women, and children who occupied this beautiful land so many years ago. We had stopped at the first few sites when we pulled up to the Methodist Church. For those of you that have never been there this particular church sits on the edge of an absolutely beautiful pasture that seems to be quietly looked after by twin mountains off in the distance. My Husband and I did not take the normal pathway up to the Church doors but however went down a path that has been walked I'm sure by many people for decades. It brought you up behind the church on the edge of the pasture behind the cemetery. It was shielded by the regular "tourist" area by a stand of trees. My Husband and I were just standing there amazed that even in the heat of summer there was a refreshing cool breeze blowing down from the mountains. Then off to the distance as if right on cue a doe walked out of the woods and stood there just sharing glances with us. It was at that moment that I think we both realized if my father had had the opportunity to choose his final resting place this would be it. Even though the act of spreading his ashes somehow brought a final end to his "death", the thought of him being in a place where he will be looked over by beautiful wildlife, the changing of the seasons, and the majestic mountains that he loved so well brought such a peace as well. As it says in Proverbs 10:7, "The memory of a good person is a blessing.". I can honestly say that I am truly blessed to have had such a wonderful christian man to call Dad.

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